A Republican lawmaker has recently proposed a bill that would require Alabama schools to begin each day with prayer. Steve Hurst, the bill’s sponsor, told reporters that the prayers would be specifically taken from the opening prayers of Congress. 15 minutes would be set aside each day for the verbatim reading of a congressional opening that would tie into the day’s lesson. In an interview with Fox News, Hurst said,
"If Congress can open with a prayer, and the state of Alabama Legislature can, I don't see why schools can't…They could read the prayer from the day war was declared in World War II. They could read the prayer the day after Sept. 11."
Opponents of the bill say such a proposal would be unconstitutional, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama arguing that the bill is a bid for teacher-led prayer disguised as a civics lesson. Democratic candidate, Stephanie Engle, has also voiced her feelings on the subject.
“’I think prayer is important in anybody’s life,’ she said. ‘I think it would behoove everyone to have a course in comparative religions, but setting aside 15 minutes for a prepared prayer isn’t as constructive.’”
Currently, the bill is still under debate.